Lumileds’ UK & Ireland Automotive Business Development Manager, Richard Armstrong, discusses the advantages of informing your garage customers of the benefits of upgrading headlight bulbs.
Headlights are often called ‘the eyes of a vehicle’, and not without good reason. They are arguably the most safety-critical lights found on any vehicle, whether it is a car, a truck or a motorbike. Headlights provide the illumination that helps the driver both see and be seen when driving on the road. The better you see the road ahead, the safer you are as a road user. Period!
With people having returned to using their personal transport after lockdown – especially in light of the limitations of public transport, the UK’s roads are likely to be busier than ever. Lumileds, which manufactures and distributes Philips’ automotive lighting products, is recommending that workshops offer a lighting check to motorists as they start using their vehicles regularly again, especially as winter is well and truly underway, and lights are more heavily used.
This move will have the dual impact of not only increasing business revenue by getting more customers in through the door – and therefore generating more orders for factors – it will also ensure motorists and their families are safe on the road.
Much like other safety critical parts of a car, headlights should be checked at regular intervals, and if one bulb is failing, both bulbs should be replaced, because when one is starting to fail, the other is likely to be close behind.
There is also the great opportunity of increasing business through educating customers about the benefits of upgrading headlight bulbs. As lights provide illumination for low light conditions, they are vital to the overall safety and drivability of the vehicle, especially for night time driving and for poor vision situations. Better bulbs that light up the road more effectively are therefore one of the best-value safety upgrades it is possible for the consumer to make.
Perfect illumination is especially important for distance vision – usually between 75-100 metres in front of a vehicle – and safety and comfort, which is why high-performance lighting is developed.
There are several benefits to upselling bulbs. For instance, it offers a better profit margin on the bulbs sold. On top of this, there is a real risk that if poor quality bulbs are offered, a costly early failure will lead to a workshop having to make good on its own time, and this comes at a significant expense. Also, don’t forget the opportunity it provides both factors and garages to enhance customer relationships and build loyalty.
Cheap is often not cost-effective when it comes to vehicle lighting. This is why fitting a high quality bulb from an OE brand will not only offer peace of mind to factors, workshops and motorists alike, but it will give a higher margin on the product through the distribution chain, and the motorist will get a better performing bulb that will almost certainly prove to be cheaper to own in the long run. It really is a win-win situation.
Age is not but a number
The UK faces an ageing motorist population. Research demonstrates that the lenses in our eyes become darker and more opaque as we age. So, simply put, the older we get, the more light we need to see things. It is not something that most motorists are aware of, but, for example, the average 50 year old needs three times more light to see the same distance as a child of 12 (Fig. 1).
On top of this, the eye loses its resistance to glare over time. When liaising with customers, technicians only need to ask a simple question to start them thinking about a possible upgrade: “Would you like more light when driving at night?”
Philips’ car lighting products have been at the forefront of innovation and development in vehicle lighting for more than a century. The brand has recently launched the first halogen bulb rated up to +200% brighter than the industry standard – RacingVision GT200. This new bulb has already been awarded Recommended Buy status in the Auto Express headlight bulb mega test 2020, which means it should be a fast-moving item. Another brand new high-performance bulb, which features class-leading lifetime and durability, is the X-TremeVision Pro150. Both are available in all common lamp types. With this in mind, the timing couldn’t really be more opportune to start educating your customers about the compelling reasons to make a bulb upgrade one of their priorities.